Carlos Tavares is a man of ambition. As well he should be, because you don't get to the top ranks of a major industrial group without it. But as chief operating officer of Renault, there was only so far he could go in the shadow of his boss Carlos Ghosn. So with an eye toward running a major automaker, Tavares left Renault a couple of months ago, expressing his desire to run an automaker like Ford or GM. Now Tavares has gotten what he wanted, but he won't have to move to Detroit to get it. Instead he's staying right there in France as the new head of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

The move was announced at the French automaker's headquarters in Paris as PSA aims to garner investment from China, prompting current chief executive Philippe Varin to step aside (whether voluntarily or otherwise) and make room for Tavares. Varin will for the time being keep the role he's held since 2009 as Tavares joins the managing board at the start of the year before taking its reins at some point thereafter.

Although PSA and its brands Peugeot and Citroën may not register much on our radar, since they don't participate in the North American market, the French group ranks as one of the largest automakers in the world. Its sales last year placed it as the eighth biggest producer of automobiles in the world (behind Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan and Honda) and a couple of positions ahead of Renault. So not only is this a step up for Tavares in terms of where he sits at the table, it's also a bigger table altogether.
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Carlos Tavares nominated to the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën to succeed Philippe Varin
25/11/2013 | Paris

Appointed in June 2009 as President of the Managing board of PSA Peugeot Citroën, confirmed with a new mandate, Philippe Varin, with his management team, has defined and led an extensive program of upgrading the Group's strategic, industrial, commercial and financial plans, all in the context of the major crisis that the European automotive industry has been enduring.

As the Managing Board, with the support of the Supervisory Board, has begun negociations with different partners on industrial and commercial projects, Philippe Varin expressed the wish that the next step of consolidation and conquest be undertaken under the leadership of a new pilot, enabling the strategy of the Group to be implemented over the long term.

He asked the Supervisory Board to set up a succession process leading to the rapid appointment of a new member of the Managing Board in order to succeed him in 2014.

After conducting extensive research, the Supervisory Board chose Carlos Tavares to succeed the current President of the Managing Board. With this aim, Carlos Tavares will join the Managing Board from the 1st January 2014 until his appointment as President of the Managing Board during 2014.

During this period Philippe Varin will continue his mission as President of the Managing Board, in particular with the responsibility of carrying out strategic discussions begun with the various partners. Carlos Tavares will begin his induction into the company and its challenges, and will work with the Managing Board on the action plans aimed at continuing the recovery of the Group.

Thierry Peugeot, President of the Supervisory Board, declared : "By chosing Carlos Tavares, reknowned automotive industry professional, to succeed Philippe Varin in 2014, the Supervisory Board ensures that the strategy of recovery and development to overcome the current crisis, a strategy that has been carried out for several years, will continue to be executed over the long term."

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